Blocker Fellows Present Abroad Projects   – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Blocker Fellows Present Abroad Projects  

At the spring Blocker Showcase, eight recipients of the fellowship – which enables students to study abroad in Germany while researching a cultural studies project of their interest – presented their projects on post World War I and II memorials, sustainability, health and wellness, and fashion to the campus community.

While in Germany, students have the option of studying at any one of several partner institutions across Germany. The 2019 cohort studied in Leipzig, Berlin and Freiburg in programs focusing on architecture, language, economics, public policy and metropolitan studies. While there, each one also blogged about their studies.

Ergisa Xhuveli ’20 began her semester by studying in Leipzig for a month-long language immersion program and continued her education in metropolitan studies in the nation’s capital through IES Berlin.

Xhuveli’s cultural project focused on post war memorials across Europe. The inspiration for her project began in her “German Cinema” course at HWS when she learned about “Stolpersteine,” or stumbling stones inscribed with the names of victims of Nazi persecution or extermination.

Four students studied in Freiburg, where their program focused on German language and cultural studies or European Union studies through IES Abroad.

  • Daphna Bendull ’21 studied language and culture. For her Blocker project, she explored the reconstruction of architecture across Freiburg post World War II.
  • Liam Cranley ’21 investigated Freiburg’s cultural emphasis on sustainability through environmental, economic and equity issues.
  • Teresa Kepes ’21, who previously interned for a major real estate firm, studied historical forms of architecture and their intersection in the city of Freiberg.
  • Madison Lyons ’21 focused on how Freiberg citizens have taken on sustainability as a form of social responsibility. She evaluated the city’s garbage disposal system and the prevalence of biking as a form of transportation.

Finally, three Blocker Fellows studied through the Berlin Lexia International Program for Art and Architecture.

  • Grace Hoffend ’21 studied the nightlife in Berlin, incorporating insights from her host family, who provided qualitative information on class and aesthetic differences between Berlin neighborhoods.
  • Camryn Seidel ’21 explored the transformation of German architecture, fashion and the East Side Gallery over time and how the legacy of World War II continues to impact these establishments and cultural traditions.
  • Niki Spada ’21 observed attitudes toward health and wellness in Berlin verses the United States. Through her research, she observed ways Berliners exercise, eat and buy groceries.

The Julius G. Blocker ’53 Endowed Fund provides generous support to students pursuing study abroad opportunities through one of the Colleges’ programs in Germany, enabling Blocker Fellows to experience German culture and society in much the same way Blocker himself did.